Kris at Kenwood as concerts return
Acclaimed country singer among the big-name acts as popular summer shows come back after five years
05 April, 2018 — By Róisín Gadelrab
Kris Kristofferson will perform a special concert celebrating his 82nd birthday
IT’S been five years since the last Kenwood concerts took place overlooking Hampstead’s rolling heath.
Despite the line-up generally being relatively tame – apart from perhaps the writhing bodies of Suede’s mammoth comeback in 2013 – the concerts have faced some resistance from neighbours in the past and the number of performances have been the subject of some contention.
This year’s Heritage Live Concert series will take place across two weekends, running between June 15 and 24, and will feature a live symphonic celebration of Manchester’s most famous club, the Haçienda, with an Orbital DJ set, singer Alfie Boe, actor and country singer Kris Kristofferson, cult movie themes by celebrated composer John Williams and closing with a special set by Katherine Jenkins rounded off with a fireworks spectacular.
While tickets are around the £44-£55 mark, spots in the seated VIP area with its own bar are being sold for £199. Organisers have also announced that no food, drink, hampers or any other large item will be permitted to be brought on site – in accordance with police advice apparently – so be prepared. In the meantime, here’s a little more about what to expect from the line-up:
Haçienda Classical with special guests Orbital (DJ Set)
A live symphonic celebration of the classic club sound, curated by Haçienda DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering with Manchester Camerata Orchestra. Electronic duo Orbital have been announced as the first of the special guests to join the show, featuring both brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll. As with the symphonic arrangements, expect the fields of Hampstead to provide a cosseted contrast to the early 1990s abandoned warehouse rave scene in the south-east that orbited the M25, from which the duo took their name.
These days often seen playing nostalgic sets with musical supremo Michael Ball, Alfie Boe emerged from unlikely surroundings. Inspired by his opera-loving parents from an early age, Boe was first discovered singing on the production line in a Lancashire car factory. He progressed to take on opera, the West End, Broadway and has even broken into the pop charts. Kenwood’s crowds can expect an assortment of songs taken from Boe’s diverse career, accompanied by an ensemble of stellar musicians. Boe said: “I’m so happy to be returning to one of my favourite venues to play. I plan on creating a real nostalgic party vibe along with some of my old classics. Can’t wait to be back at Kenwood.”
Acclaimed country singer Kristofferson will perform a special concert celebrating his 82nd birthday with Rufus Wainwright as the first special guest to be announced to join him. We last saw Kristofferson playing Union Chapel in 2013, where he played a charming but rambling set, not always remembering his lyrics but with a twinkle in his eye that won over his crowd. More recently the three-time Grammy winner appeared at Glastonbury flanked by Bradley Cooper and Johnny Depp.
Movie themes by John Williams, performed by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
Mention E.T., Jurassic Park, Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Harry Potter, and the theme tunes that have automatically been embedded in your head come flooding back. Composer John Williams’ cinematic scores will be brought to life by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in an evening that will evoke the most magical movie nostalgia.
Last Night of the Kenwood Proms with Katherine Jenkins OBE and The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Paul Bateman
The concerts will be brought to a close by award-winning Welsh superstar Katherine Jenkins, performing some of her most popular pieces, alongside the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by maestro Paul Bateman as well as all the fun of the Last Night of the Proms favourites, finishing with a fireworks finale.
• Note that there is no parking for this event, but a free bus shuttle service will operate from Highgate and Hampstead tube stations every 15 minutes during peak periods.